Back in late June we asked you all to help us determine whether or not we should switch away from American Apparel tees for our shirt blanks. Thanks to the more than 500 of you who ordered over 650 tees to test drive, the results are finally in: we will be switching to Next Level as our primary t-shirt supplier very soon (the first NL shirts should start appearing on the site around the end of the month). An overwhelming majority of customers found little to no difference in the quality, comfort, fit, and feel of the Next Level tees in comparison to the AA tees we have been using.
This is great news because the outlook for American Apparel as a supplier got even more grim while we executed this test. To see that there may not be an American Apparel within a year, well, that wouldn't be good for us or, more importantly, you.
While you may not have noticed any turbulence because of American Apparel’s death spiral, at various points over this summer we’ve found it necessary to reach out to customers to let them know we would be unable to fulfill their order as scheduled. That breaks our hearts. Whether it was a two week delay because American Apparel couldn’t deliver or switching to another color or vendor, we depend on reliable vendors. When they can’t fulfill their promises that put us in a precarious position. By switching to Next Level we believe we will be better positioned to deliver on our own promises: high quality, well designed tees, tanks, and sweatshirts from the best designers, illustrators, letterers, and artists around the world. If you didn't get a chance to test drive a Next Level tee back in June, let us know. We have a few extras lying around we'd be happy to mail out if you're concerned about fit.
Designers, download our new mockup template with Next Level tee colors.
Here’s what y'all told us about your experience with Next Level:
“It seemed pretty good quality to be fair, no complaints from me on this one. Cheers.”
“Tighter fit, not as soft but the overall feel of the shirt was better.”
“The change in shape after the wash was good. The first time I tried it on out of the envelope, it felt too roomy in the chest. After the wash it was great.”
“It felt like it was thicker material & would survive more washes. I liked the way it felt to the hand.”
“It’s a great quality shirt. My wife wants to steal it from me… I’d definitely support you switching to use Next Level tees exclusively.”
“I liked that on the new men's tee (which as a larger-chested woman I usually buy men's) the sleeves are a bit shorter than the older tees. I like the shorter sleeves of the women's tees... they just don't fit me quite right. But I think the new tees are a happy middle ground.”
“I like the Next Level tees. Great idea for a look to switch to. I support jumping ship from AA. I agree that they are questionable. My only thing with the Next Level shirts is that they are a bit shorter. This may not be a concern for most, but I am 6'7" so finding a shirt that fit at all was a win. I would just have to be really careful not to dry it.”
“I like the new shirts! They're tighter in the sleeves which was initially uncomfortable but I got used to it.”
“I love it, and prefer it to American Apparel. I've bought close to 10 CB shirts, and would love the change. Thanks for all you do, guys.”
“I like the thickness of the shirt. It feels more durable. like it will last longer. I really like the small fit in the neck and chest. Wish the length was a little longer. I actually air dry my shirts since I worry about shrinking. I am on the border of a medium and a large and always go with the medium. if it shrinks too much it becomes unwearable for me.”
“LOVE the Next Level tee. It holds it's shape after wearing all day, and comes in sizes that actually make some sense. I've bought a few shirts from you guys, but gotten tired of the ‘what will this one actually fit like’ surprise with the AA tees you use. I intend to buy many many shirts once you switch over.”
“Husband said his felt thinner than the AA, but overall I think it's comparable. I would rather support a more reputable company than AA so by all means go with the change!”
“The Next Level shirts definitely feel more reliable. AA shirts always seemed like they could shrink or stretch during a wash. Also the length is much better with the NL versions.”